All month long, the National Association for Health and Fitness will be promoting the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments as part of their Global Employee Health and Fitness Month campaign.
According to a study presented at the 2011 American Institute for Cancer Research annual conference, more than 90,000 new cancer cases a year in the United States may be due to physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting. 1 Since many employed adults spend their time sitting behind a desk in an office building, it is important to remember to move around and stay active to help lower the risk of certain cancers and diseases.
For some, it can be difficult starting or sticking to an exercise routine due to busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, but every little bit of physical activity can help. Certified personal trainer and freelance writer Paige Waehner shares some tips in her article, “Exercise at Work,” on how to stay active during the work week. Waehner recommends that employees:
- Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair to strengthen your abs, back and help posture
- Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move
- Take the stairs whenever you can
- Deliver documents to co-workers in person rather than by email
- Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk
Epidemiologist Christine Friedenreich of Alberta Health Services in Calgary, Canada reviewed more than 200 cancer studies worldwide and found evidence that regular physical activity can reduce the risks of breast cancer, colon cancer and endometrial cancer by 25% – 30%. The results also suggested that regular exercise reduces the risk of lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer, too.2
How are you staying active during the work week?
1, 2 Hellmich, Nanci. “Prolonged sitting linked to breast cancer, colon cancer”. USA Today. November 3, 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/medical/health/medical/cancer/story/2011-11-03/Prolonged-sitting-linked-to-breast-cancer-colon-cancer/51051928/1